At this time of year for most folks living in the U.S. it's not only a time for celebrating the holidays but also watching as your college football team heads to the playoffs. Newly instigated only a year or so ago, after more than a century debating which team is actually the best team on the grid iron, playing a grand final has lessened in relevance. The winner of the big game is clearly that team walking off the field for the last time that has the most points on the scoreboard. It's all going to be rather easy to see who holds bragging rights for the next twelve months.
If only it was that easy to determine winning strategies and best-execution of plans when it comes to technology; but there are no playoffs for any parties involved in technology. Vendors for some time now point to their position in a Gartner magic quadrant but this has more to do with how successfully a vendors marketing were able to communicate their vision and to some extent, the breadth of the engagement with Gartner. And with so many magic quadrants to choose from, practically every vendor can chalk up a win, one way or the other, courtesy of Gartner's team of analysts.
For the past couple of weeks the NonStop community has been digesting all that was conveyed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) at the 2015 NonStop Technical Boot Camp. Among the many commentaries generated after the event wound down, were posts appearing here in the IR blog.
As noted, too, in my previous post, of December 15, 2015, (and the last link included above), I covered additional ground as a result of what was described in keynote presentation at Boot Camp in the seminars I have attended along with senior managers from IR. However, it wasn't until I finally had an in-depth conversation with Andy Bergholz, Director of Engineering, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), that I gained the sense that much of the game is now ahead of NonStop – yes, if we can say anything about the playbook HPE is now following for NonStop then at best we are just approaching half time. And the reason I can say this is that there's an even bigger game-changer lying just out of sight, but becoming more visible with each passing month.
IR has always done an excellent job when it comes to laying out its product plans for Prognosis, irrespective of the systems and platforms being supported. Today we see Prognosis enjoying popularity not just on NonStop but in support of payments solutions no matter the platform as well as unified communications. Furthermore, even as HPE champions the concept of Converged Infrastructure and along with CI, the more interesting fall out from this, Converged Data Center Infrastructure (CDCI), so too do I fully anticipate hearing even more about future outcomes from convergence of multiple Prognosis components and features. After all, it's all about the monitoring of application performance where the transactions are being monitored. What is different, after all, between voice interactions via VoIP and financial transactions via TCP/IP. Very little, and I see the support of industry standard protocols and services that are now so strongly supported by HPE leading to such a convergence across monitoring solutions.
If you are a NonStop user and you are relying on Prognosis for monitoring of your infrastructure or payments solutions and are not aware just how widespread acceptance of Prognosis in monitoring VoIP has become you may want to check out IR's web pages in support of unified communications. It only recently came to my attention that the largest Prognosis user on the planet relies solely on Prognosis for monitoring of their global VoIP network that reaches hundreds of thousands of end users. So much attention the industry is giving convergence and along with it, the transformation that is taking place within IT to better embrace solutions that are "open, secure and agile", as Fink tweeted this week following the conclusion of the 2015 HPE Discover event in London.
The key message coming from Andy Bergholz following Boot Camp is that not only is NonStop now a software solution but the immediate goal for NonStop is to make NonStop independent of infrastructure. As covered in the post of December 15, 2015, Picking the line … "NonStop is not just about being independent of the hardware," said Bergholz. "The goal for NonStop is to make it independent of the infrastructure; as we see it NonStop is above the infrastructure and our goal truly is to include within NonStop an infrastructure independence such that you can layer NonStop atop your choice of infrastructure." And driving this requirement to be infrastructure independent is the recognition that to be more open, secure and agile means you need to operate in the rarified atmosphere of virtualization.
Even as HPE approaches half time for NonStop development, this milestone is easily recognizable as you take into consideration what Bergholz had to say about NonStop software's participation in an increasingly virtualized world. As I made it clear in that December 15, 2015, post inside of HPE NonStop development labs there is a NonStop running on top of at least one hypervisor without the need to add anything to the hypervisor and that, as Bergholz added, "We have no plans to require changes to the virtual machine a customer selects even as we want to be able to run atop as many different virtual machines as may be out there."
What the NonStop community is paying attention to before there is any half time celebrations is the momentum gathering in support of such key initiatives within HPE including Synergy and Composability. Synergy brings CDCI closer to market even as Composability casts a net beyond simply CDCI. And while HPE is focused on monitoring aspects of configuration and provisioning at the hardware level, when it comes to the applications it's the role of Prognosis to provide the insight business managers require. With the diverse mix of platforms Prognosis supports it's clear that, at this point in time and with the big game still very much alive, nothing will take place that Prognosis doesn't see – and for even more on this topic, look for further announcements on my next webinar currently scheduled for late January!